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The onboard selfie

Posted on 02 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Sailing is and will, most probably, always stay a niche sport. Despite the claims to the contrary and the big, ambitious plans presented at the beginning of every America’s Cup or Volvo Ocean Race cycle, bringing sailing to the coffee-shop crowd is something that has eluded all self-proclaimed prophets.

However, there is an aspect in sailing that no other sport can beat: the onboard experience. In the big, stadium sports, spectators are seated tens of meters away from the field. At best, if you are lucky enough or a famous Hollywood celebrity you can get a front-row seat at the LA Lakers game, a few feet from the line. Nevertheless, nothing comes even close to the thrill of spending one hour onboard one of the racing yachts, rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s best sailors, right in the middle of the action.

Where else can you take such a selfie? Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

The vast majority of guests have absolutely no clue about sailing and for most of them it is the first time they go onboard a sailing yacht. However, they all have one thing in common. They all come back ashore with a big smile on their face. Even when conditions take them out of the comfort zone, guests are thrilled by the experience.

Apparently, the guest on Mag Racing, in the second day of the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup final day, was having a fabulous time as she spent nearly the entire first beat taking selfies, constantly changing position to get the perfect shot. She might not even remember the names of the Polish crew, she most probably doesn’t care about the result Mag Racing got in that particular race but she will never forget those selfies.

Although it’s true the RC44′s aren’t the most comfortable boats to be a guest, being inside a professional top-notch team isn’t an opportunity to let by. Even when conditions got really brisk later on with 22 knots of breeze and Peter Reggio became a bit worried about safety, the worst incident happy guests had to report was getting some of their clothing wet by the splash.

The RC44 class probably has the most active and efficient onboard guest program we have seen among the major international circuits. With 11 to 15 boats in every regatta and three races a day, the RC44 class has dozens of onboard guest during one event and all this is organized by just one person, Logistics Manager Hubert Detrey, with the help of a couple of ribs and drivers provided each time by local organizers!

Isn’t it a pity though that the advent of fast, foiling catamarans in the America’s Cup has stripped sailing’s pinnacle event from this superb marketing tool?

Where else can you take such a selfie? Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

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Bronenosec wins RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup

Posted on 30 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Despite a slow start on Tuesday and Wednesday, the first edition of the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup finished on a high note, not only because of the great conditions that prevailed during the weekend but also thanks to the very close racing that took place. Sotogrande lived up to its promise and seven races took place on Saturday and Sunday under sunshine, relatively flat seas and a brisk, but very shifty, westerly breeze between 10 and 20 knots. Racing was so close and intense that going into the final race, two teams, Bronenosec and Peninsula Petroleum, were tied at the top of the overall leaderboard and another two, Gazprom Youth Challenge and Synergy, had a credible shot at the trophy. In fact, it wasn’t until the last run that Bronenosec got ahead of Peninsula Petroleum and Gazprom Youth Challenge in order to secure the third event of the 2014 RC44 Championship Tour.

The Gazprom-sponsored boat that flies the colors of the Saint-Petersburg Yacht Club wasn’t the one that scored the most victories but, undoubtedly, the most consistent. Torbjörn Törqnvist’s Artemis might get the bragging rights with three victories in 11 races but with 45 points, Bronenosec had an average score of fourth, an impressive feat in a strong fleet of eleven boats.

According to Michele Ivaldi, tactician onboard Bronenosec, the key this week was “to keep focused on the long term, never forgetting it was going to be a long regatta. With such a shifty breeze there would always be a lot of opportunities to recover positions. We always tried to be careful, to limit any potential damages and in the first weather mark we were always fifth or sixth. That was a tactical decision because we didn’t want to take extreme options to be ahead. If we rounded the marks in fifth or sixth place we knew we would have strong tactical options.

“In what regards the eleven races, our objective every day was to finish on average fourth or fifth. In fact our worst scores were two sixths. The positive aspect is that we always managed to climb back.

“Today, there wasn’t any favorable side on the course. Wind could change in direction by 30-35 degrees while pressure would fluctuate from 8 to 22 knots. The key was to stay in phase with the shifts and look ahead 500 meters, trying to decipher what was going to take place. You had to be patient, very patient.

“I joined the team in Cascais and this is my second regatta with them. We have two Russians onboard in this event, because the owner Vladimir Liubomirov is currently in Saint Petersburg, and their progress has been noticeable. I think that Vladimir’s idea to build a project that promotes young Russian sailors is proving to be successful. Gazprom Youth Challenge also had a very good final day and their progress is remarkable as well. We hold our meetings and debriefs together and I can clearly see their increasing professionalism.

“Our crew is a mixture of Russian, English, Italian and Spanish, and our helmsman was Slovenian this week, but communication isn’t a problem onboard. We, obviously, communicate in English but we try to have a Latin character in the team.”

Despite losing the opportunity to win an event on their home waters, John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum are holding on to their overall leadership of the season as Chris Bake’s Team Aqua had a disappointing week, finishing sixth.

RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup 2014 – Final Overall Results after 11 races
1. Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS 18) 6 5 3 3 5 1 5 6 4 4 3 – - – - 45
2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS 13) 8 2 2 6 7 5 9 2 5 1 1 – - – - 48
3. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1) 1 3 5 11 1 4 2 4 6 5 6 – - – - 48
4. GAZPROM Youth Sailing Challenge (RUS7) 5 1 8 10 2 9 3 1 3 2 9 – - – - 53
5. Artemis Racing (SWE44) 9 7 1 4 6 3 1 9 1 11 5 – - – - 57
6. Team Aqua (GBR 2041) 3 9 6 2 8 6 8 3 8 8 4 – - – - 65
7. Aleph Racing (FRA17) 2 4 11 7 3 8 10 10 2 3 8 – - – - 68
8. Charisma (MON 69) 10 6 7 8 4 7 6 5 9 6 2 – - – - 70
9. Team Nika (RUS 10) 4 10 9 1 11 2 7 7 7 7 7 – - – - 72
10. Katusha (RUS 007) 7 8 4 5 9 10 4 8 11 9 11 – - – - 86
11. MAG Racing (POL44) 11 11 10 9 10 12ocs 11 11 10 10 10 – - – - 115

Race 2
The day’s second race got underway in what was probably the strongest and most exciting conditions of week. The fresh breeze, blowing between 18 and 22 knots provided spectacular racing that saw Gazprom Youth Sailing and Synergy take the early lead. Peninsula Petroleum had another disappointing race as their strategy for the left-hand side of the course in the first beat proved disastrous. They were forced to duck the entire fleet at the first weather mark and round in 10th place. They managed to recover five place and finish fifth but Bronenosec had already crossed the line ahead of the British-Spanish boat. With Synergy overtaking Gazprom Youth Challenge in the last stretch of the final run, the podium became wide open.

Start of the day’s second race. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

What other sport gives you the opportunity to take a “selfie” right next to the athletes? Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

At the approach to the first weather mark, Peninsula Petroleum will have to duck the fleet and round 10th. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Gazprom Youth Challenge leading the fleet in the first run. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Synergy surging ahead in the first run. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Aleph surging ahead in the first run. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Bronenosec surging ahead in the first run. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Charisma surging ahead in the first run. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Both Peninsula Petroleum and Team Aqua had an average race. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Gazprom Youth Challenge leads the race in the second upwind leg. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Synergy goes on to score their first victory of the day while Bronenosec ties with Peninsula Petroleum. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Race 3
With Peninsula Petroleum and Bronenosec tied at 42 points and Gazprom Youth Challenge lurking just two points behind them, the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup podium was wide open when the day’s, and event’s last race started. All three teams had nearly equal chances in clinching the title and in fact, the winner was only decided in the last run. Synergy scored a commanding victory, leading from start to finish but it was, once again, Bronenosec’s ability to weave through the fleet and climb back that gave them the overall victory. Gazprom Youth Challenge had a very good first beat, rounded the first weather mark in third place, managing to put a sufficient number of boats between them and Bronenosec and Peninsula Petroleum that would guarantee their overall victory. However, Bronenosec, again, stayed in phase with the shifts and by the bottom gate they were ahead of Gazprom Youth Challenge and Peninsula Petroleum. They held on to their advantage, crossing the finish third and claiming the trophy.

Start of the day’s last race. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Synergy in the first beat of the last race. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

The fleet in the first beat of the last race. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Synergy leads the fleet at the first weather mark. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Gazprom Youth Challenge rounds the first weather mark in third place and becomes the virtual regatta winner. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Peninsula Petroleum and Bronenosec round the first weather mark. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Team Aqua sailing the first run. Chiris Bake’s team had a disappointing week. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

At the bottom gate, Bronenosec was ahead of both Gazprom Youth Challenge and Peninsula Petroleum. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

In the final run, Synergy was leading and Bronenosec was third, comfortably ahead of Peninsula Petroleum and Gazprom Youth Challenge. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Synergy sailing into victory in the final race of the event. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Nika sailing in the last run of the race. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Nika sailing in the last run of the race. Sotogrande, 29 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

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Video Highlights – Day of 2 Fleet Racing – RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup

Posted on 28 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Watch the highlights from day two of fleet racing at the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup including an interview with Andy Horton (USA)

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Video Highlights – Day of 2 Fleet Racing – RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup

Posted on 28 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Watch the highlights from day two of fleet racing at the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup including an interview with Andy Horton (USA)

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Bronenosec takes lead of RC44 Sotogrande as Peninsula Petroleum finishes last in Friday’s only race

Posted on 27 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

There is no margin for any error, be it small or big, in the RC44 class and and the crew onboard John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum learned that the hard way on Friday. They went into the second day of fleet racing at RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup holding the top spot of the overall leaderboard, with an advantage of three points over Synergy and five points over Bronenosec.

The early-morning forecast wasn’t optimistic and in fact racing had to be postponed ashore for two hours before a northeasterly light breeze, topping at 6-7 knots, was established over the course. Unlike the previous days where the shiftier westerly opened a wide array of tactical options, on Friday there was only way to go and that was left. However, as the eleven RC44 yachts were jockeying for position at the pin end of the line, it was important not to be carried away by the strong current. Unfortunately, three boats didn’t have their timing right and Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge, Charisma and, most importantly, Peninsula Petroleum were on the wrong side of the line when the gun was fired.

From that point on, there was nothing the British-Spanish team could do to come back. Vasco Vasotto, tactician on Peninsula Petroleum, tried to take a gamble in the first beat, sailing as far to the right as possible but nothing came out of that move. Peninsula Petroleum was always last, something that opened up the fight in the front of the fleet.

The race’s clear winner was Vladimir Prosikhin’s Nika with RC44 class creator Russell Coutts calling tactics. The Russian boat had a clean start at the committee boat, crossed the line at full pace and headed to the favored left. They took the lead halfway through the first beat and never relinquished it, despite the attacks from Team Aqua. Chris Bake’s boat found her winning form today but the day’s undisputed protagonist was Bronenosec, exceptionally helmed by Igor Lah this week. Tactician Michele Ivaldi positioned the boat in the right spot in every leg, climbing back to third. Synergy’s sixth place in the race gave Bronenosec the overall lead.

The decreasing breeze made it impossible to hold another race. Three more races are scheduled for Saturday but with conditions similar to today’s, it will be a long day on the waters off Sotogrande.

RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup – Overall results after 4 races
1. Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS 18) 6 5 3 3 – - – - – - – - – - – 17
2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS 13) 8 2 2 6 – - – - – - – - – - – 18
3. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1) 1 3 5 11 – - – - – - – - – - – 20
4. Team Aqua (GBR 2041) 3 9 6 2 – - – - – - – - – - – 20
5. Artemis Racing (SWE44) 9 7 1 4 – - – - – - – - – - – 21
6. Team Nika (RUS 10) 4 10 9 1 – - – - – - – - – - – 24
7. GAZPROM Youth Sailing Challenge (RUS7) 5 1 8 10 – - – - – - – - – - – 24
8. Aleph Racing (FRA17) 2 4 11 7 – - – - – - – - – - – 24
9. Katusha (RUS 007) 7 8 4 5 – - – - – - – - – - – 24
10. Charisma (MON 69) 10 6 7 8 – - – - – - – - – - – 31
11. MAG Racing (POL44) 11 11 10 9 – - – - – - – - – - – 41

With a couple of seconds to go before the start, Gazprom Youth Challenge and Charisma are clearly over the line. Sotogrande, 27 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Start of the day’s first race and Peninsula Petroleum, Gazprom Youth Challenge and Charisma are early over the line. Sotogrande, 27 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Excellent start for Team Nika. Sotogrande, 27 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Peninsula Petroleum tries the lonely and unfruitful road on the right in the first beat. Sotogrande, 27 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Nika rounds the first weather mark in the lead. Sotogrande, 27 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Team Aqua, Artemis and Aleph round the first weather mark. Sotogrande, 27 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

The fleet at the first run. Sotogrande, 27 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Excellent first run for Bronenosec as they catch up the three leading boats. Sotogrande, 27 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Nika leads half way the second beat while Peninsula Petroleum is struggling halfway through the first run. Sotogrande, 27 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Vladimir Prosikhin and Russell Coutts lead the way at the last mark. Sotogrande, 27 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Bronenosec rounds the second weather mark in third place. Sotogrande, 27 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Not a pretty sight for Peninsula Petroleum that round the second weather mark in last while Nika is sailing to victory. Sotogrande, 27 June 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

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Video Highlights – Day of 1 Fleet Racing – RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup

Posted on 27 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Watch the highlights from day one of fleet racing at the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup including interviews with Cameron Appleton (NZL) Vasco Vascotto (ITA) and John Bassadone (GBR)

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Video Highlights – Day of 1 Fleet Racing – RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup

Posted on 27 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

Watch the highlights from day one of fleet racing at the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup including interviews with Cameron Appleton (NZL) Vasco Vascotto (ITA) and John Bassadone (GBR)

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Peninsula Petroleum takes early lead of RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup in tricky conditions

Posted on 26 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

“If you know that things are bound to change shortly why take risks by going to extremes?” One sentence by Vasco Vascotto, tactician onboard John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum, is enough to sum up the winning strategy on the tricky and challenging waters off Puerto Sotogrande in southern Spain.

Thursday saw the 11-strong fleet of RC44′s battle it out in three fleet races held less than a mile off the Sotogrande Marina. What started as a very promising day with beautiful blue skies, nearly flat seas and a fresh westerly breeze of more than 15 knots turned into an excruciatingly light third race that Peter Reggio, Principal Race Officer, had to shorten as the breeze had shut down after shifting nearly 90 degrees to the right.

Peninsula Petroleum was the clear leader with a victory in the opening race, after a superb comeback in the last run, a third and a fifth. Vasco Vascotto worked his usual magic in Sotogrande and knowing that the westerly breeze, coming from the Atlantic after crossing a narrow stretch of land, is anything but easy he tried to be conservatively aggressive. The only certainty in Sotogrande is the uncertainty of the breeze. So, Vascotto’s strategy was to sail in the pressure and avoid taking unnecessary risks. As Vascotto stated, “you try to sail where you have additional chances to win. If you try to get the definite left or right shift, you will miss all the ones in between.”

For the rest of the teams it was a day of snake and ladders and in particular, Aqua and Aleph went from hero to zero, finishing the day fifth and sixth, respectively.

RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup – Overall Fleet Racing Leaderboard after 3 races
1. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1) 1,3,5 = 9 points
2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS 13) 8,2,2 = 12
3. GAZPROM Youth Sailing Challenge (RUS7) 5,1,8 = 14
4. Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS 18) 6,5,3 = 14
5. Aleph Racing (FRA17) 2,4,11 = 17
6. Team Aqua (GBR 2041) 3,9,6 = 18
7. Katusha (RUS 007) 7,8,4 = 19
8. Artemis Racing (SWE44) 9,7,1 = 17
9. Charisma (MON 69) 10,6,7 = 23
10. Team Nika (RUS 10) 4,10,9 = 23
11. MAG Racing (POL44) 11,11,10 = 32

Race 1
Vascotto’s strategy bore its fruit in the first race, by far the day’s most exciting. When the gun was fired, conditions were ideal and Charisma had a great start, in full pace off the pin end of the line. Nico Poon’s boat took the lead but it was Nika, with Russell Coutts calling tactics, that would be in front at the first weather mark, followed by Aqua and Katusha. In the first run, Aleph caucht up and the battle for leadership turned into a fierce match race between Nika and Alpeh.

However, at the back of the fleet John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum was working its way up and was third at the second weather mark. Vascotto saw the pressure on the right-hand side of the course and staged a fabulous comeback, taking the win ahead of Aleph and Aqua. The finish of the race was yet another demonstration of the beauty of the RC44 class when conditions are brisk. The entire fleet finished within one minute, reminding us of an Olympic class finish rather than big boat racing.

Start of the day’s first race. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

The fleet approaches the first weather mark with Nika in the lead. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Nika leads the race at the first weather mark. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Team Aqua rounds the first weather mark in second place. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Aleph rounds the first weather mark in fourth place. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Peninsula Petroleum rounds the first weather mark at the back of the fleet. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Aleph and Nika are neck and neck at the bottom gate. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Nika leads the fleet at the second weather mark, followed by Aleph. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Peninsula Petroleum had climbed up to third place in the second weather mark. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Nika holds on to her lead at the start of the final run. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Fantastic comeback by John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum from the right-hand side of the course. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

High fives and happy faces onboard John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum after a well-deserved victory. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Race 2
As the breeze was slowly abating, Vascotto’s risk-limiting strategy allowed Peninsula Petroleum to keep her form in the day’s second race. John Bassadone’s boat crossed the starting line on the committee boat end and stayed in the middle of the course in the first beat. Bassadone took the lead in the first weather mark but could feel Gazprom Youth Sailing and Synergy hot on her heels. However, the British-Spanish boat wasn’t able to fend off their attacks and it was Gazprom Youth Sailing, helmed by Kiril Podolsky and with Cameron Dunn calling tactics, that got the upper hand thanks to a fantastic last run.

Start of the day’s second race. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Team Aqua had a mediocre day. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Peninsula Petroleum leads in the first run, closely followed by Synergy and Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Peninsula Petroleum tries to fend off Synergy’s attacks. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Synergy rounds the bottom gate in third place. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Peninsula Petroleum rounds the second weather mark in the lead. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Gazprom Youth Challenge had a fantastic last run, overtaking Peninsula Petroleum. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

A well-deserved victory for Gazprom Youth Challenge. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Race 3
The third and final day of the race was undoubtedly the trickiest and least exciting as the breeze became excruciatingly light and shifted nearly 90 degrees to the right, causing a few of the boats that had picked the left in the last beat to stall. The clear winner was Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis that led from start to finish and made up for the disappointing results at the back of the fleet in the first two races. Peninsula Petroleum was always in the mix and finished fifth, taking the worst score of the day but still taking overall leadership of the regatta.

Start of the day’s last race with Katusha clearly early over the line. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Artemis leads at the first weather mark. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Artemis stretch their lead as they sail in front of Gibraltar. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Artemis are comfortably ahead in the last weather mark as the huge right shift favored them immensely. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

After a difficult first race, Synergy were on their way to scoring a second place. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

Team Aqua, helmed exceptionally on Thursday by Brian Benjamin, had a tough day at the back of the fleet. Sotogrande, 26 Jun 2014. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / www.vsail.info

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